How Will You Bring Economic Healing in 2011?

Kwanzaa is a week-long pan-African celebration of family, community, and culture from December 26 through January 1 each year. Each day of Kwanzaa respects one of seven principles good for people of all cultures to value because they reinforce each of our commitments and contributions to our families and communities.  Living each of these principles can also help you to find career success.

Principle # 7 Imani (ee-MAH-nee): Faith
Believing in our people, our families, our educators, our leaders, and the righteousness of the African American struggle.

Reality Check — It doesn’t matter what the official economic experts say, serious problems linger in our workforce and in our school systems.  The U.S. economy is in recovery, however, there are large groups of people left out who will continue to struggle for another generation … unless we change things.

Maybe you’ve seen the news reports, or you might know people living this harsh reality: Black and Hispanic students are dropping out of high school at an alarming rate. In addition, the unemployment rates for Blacks and Hispanics is much higher than average.

Why are these communities of color not achieving the education and employment goals needed to live financially stable lives?  Many reasons.  Some individuals can control, but most are systematic or societal issues that have nothing to do with a person’s motivation or work ethic.

Now the good news.

Our communities will see economic recovery in 2011. Black and Hispanic people and other underrepresented populations will be a part of this “new economy.” Our students will gain the reading, math and other skills needed to succeed in college and in the workplace. And we will raise more people out of poverty in the coming years.

How do I know all of this? I have faith.

Faith in our communities. Faith in our children. Faith that my nephews will live the prosperous and abundant lives that my parents and grandparents fought for.

The generations before me had faith. They also knew that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone (James 2:24). In other words, if we truly believe that we can make our communities economically viable, and our children will be intelligent contributors to society, than we need to figure out what to do to make this happen.

This week, I have used the seven basic values of Kwanzaa to give job seekers and employees of all backgrounds ideas on how to manage their careers. Now its time to look beyond ourselves and think of ways to help our neighbors and our children to find and keep economic and career success.

Your Move: What three actions will you take this month to help a student, job seeker, or small business? Share your networking and community building ideas in the comments section below.

For many, the year 2010 brought personal and financial pain. Let’s ring in 2011 by promoting community healing and prosperity.

Using the 7 Principles to Boost Your Career:

  1. Umoja ~ Unity
  2. Kujichagulia ~ Self-Determination
  3. Ujima ~ Collective work and responsibility
  4. Ujamaa ~ Collective economics
  5. Nia ~ Purpose
  6. Kuumba ~ Creativity
  7. Imani ~ Faith

More about Kwanzaa: